There are two questions that must be answered in the process of figuring out weather having the government borrow money and spend is a good idea:
What is the money being used for?
How expensive is the money to borrow?
Back in the Reagan-Bush I years--the steep run-up in the debt-to-annual GDP ratio in the 1980s and the first third of the 1990s:
The money was used to rapidly build up the U.S. military to counter the Soviet Union's overwhelming might--an overwhelming might that existed only in the fantasies of the neoconservatives who ran the "Team B" exercise initiated at the CIA by George H.W. Bush.
The money was used for tax cuts for the rich in the hope that increasingly incentivizing entrepreneurship would accelerate economic growth above the pace of the 1970s--a vain hope indeed.
The real interest rate at which the U.S. government could borrow was relatively high--between 3.5%/year and 8.5%/year, and averaging 5.5%/year in the 1980s. Plus there was the fear that as the debt-to-annual-GDP ratio rose further without any strategy for ultimately amortizing the debt, the real interest rate would rise higher. Plus there was the fear that the real interest paid on the debt understated the cost to the taxpayer of carrying it because a high debt would create expectations that inflation would rise--expectations that would require unemployment semi-permanently above the NAIRU to avoid another inflationary spiral.